Tips for Adopting a Rescue Horse

Adopting a horse is a huge investment of your time, energy and money. You want to make sure you get it right and adopt a horse that matches you…

None of us like those sad stories about bad adoptions. So here’s some tips to ensure potential horse owners adopt the right horse from the right place and get the best outcome for all involved.

Horses are expensive animals to look after. Therefore, anytime we see any struggles in the economy we find a number of horses get abandoned and end up in rescue care. Ensuring you adopt from rescues who are known to take the time to ensure their horses and prospective new owners ‘match’ will save you (and the horse) potential headaches in the future.

Reputable rescues will always provide prospective owners with medical, dental and farrier records for the horse they are looking to adopt. They will also provide details and contact information for the veterinarians and any other professionals who have provided care for the horse.

As always, when adopting any animal, the most important thing is that you do your homework.

Firstly, consider the horse’s breed, age and skill level / training before you adopt (your own experience level with horses should be kept in mind too). It’s very important to be clear whether the adopted horse will be a riding horse, a pasture pet or something more work-intensive. It is very important to be sure that the horse you are looking to adopt and your own lifestyle and expectations match.

Once you are set with your decisions above, make sure you keep an open mind. Saying “I only want a 10 year old palomino mare” will limit you quite significantly. Look at all sorts of horses and spend as much time as you can with the horses you look at.

Once you believe you have found yourself a ‘match’, bring along an experienced trainer to objectively assess their suitability. Keep in mind that many horses up for adoption at rescue centers have been mentally abused, physically abused or neglected in some way, so there may be the need for some further training.

At the end of the day adopting a horse is a long-term decision. With advancements in care available to us horses are living longer, so your decision made now will affect your life for 12, 15, 20 or more years.

This all boils down to ensuring that you are happy with the horse, and that the horse is happy with you. If you get that right, the rest will fall into place and you and your new rescue horse can look forward to a great relationship that can last many years.

Have you adopted a rescue horse? Would you consider it? Share your pics with us on our Facebook page